The 1914 Japanese Monument At The Alamo Apr 2, 2006 3:40:34 GMT -5
Post by neferetus on Apr 2, 2006 3:40:34 GMT -5
The Japannese Monument to the Alamo heroes and its inscription were a gift from a Japanese professor, Shigetaka Shiga who was so taken with the Alamo story and how closely it paralleled an event in Japanese history, that he travelled all the way across the ocean in long ago 1914 to present the stone to the Alamo custodians. Here is the translation from the original Chinese (then in use in Japan).
To The Memory Of The Heroes Of The Alamo
by Professor Shigetaka Shiga
One hundred fifty are besieged by five thousand; Not only the provisions but the ammunition is all gone. Thirty-two men hear the news and hurry to the scene. The heavy strokes of their sabers lead them into the fortress, through the ranks of the enemy to see the commander of the fortress wet with blood, and his men reeling against the walls with exhaustion but with swords in hand.
Now comes the dauntless South Carolinian, knowing that if he does not answer duty's call, disgrace and shame will be his. Returning he rides into the siege on a white charger, salutes the besieged with a smile and says, "We die together."
They bind up their wounds and fight in higher spirits. Speak not of the bravery of Chang Hsun at Suiyang, for here one hundred eight-two corpses were laid; not a soul surrendered. The people of the 24 states get inspiration thereby, and learn for the first time that unanimous cooperation Is superior to geographical advantage.
Why should they be mourned? For the dauntless, it is not a pain but a pleasure to cover an obstruction miles long. Lo! The mouth of that river once occupied by the enemy Is in possesion of the T'ang!
Now I am on a journey, far away from my home across the ocean. I have come to San Antonio where there are bushes of the graceful oleander. And, as in a dream, I wonder if this is the very spot where that dreadful bloodshed took place in years gone by. You do not see Cgang Hsun, Hsu Yuan and Nan Chiyun (David Crockett, Jim Bowie and James Bonham.) But their fame, like the blossoms fragrence is still in the air.
The custom of the West does not necessarily condemn surrender. Why? We have never heard of a commander destroyed, but here in the state of Texas, we see one (Travis). In spirit there is not a distinction between East and West. You need not wonder, then, if I drink a toast to your memory. I have brought a well polished stone from Japan, And commemorate your heroic deeds with this humble inscription. September, 1914.
(Dr. Margit Nagy made the English translation of the inscription on the Professor Shiga's Japanese monument at the Alamo. )